Clarellen Adams

Galleria Image-MMDSOriginally I visited San Francisco in the summer of 1977 as a young gay man in search of a happier place to live. At that time, the design district was located in the Ice House and in Jackson Square. They were wonderful and so was the city. I dreamed of living here one day and of having a design office in wonderfully sophisticated  Jackson Square. It certainly was a world apart from Austin, Texas.

As it turns out, the shift was premature for me. When I did finally make it here for good, in the summer of 1987, Clarellen and Henry Adams had turned the design industry on its ear – moving the entire district South of Market to the site it now occupies 30 plus years later. Henry Adams had already passed away, but certainly his memory and his accomplishments had not. 

Clarellen – well that is another story. She was as vibrant and alive as anyone I have ever known. We worked on many projects together and she was always there supporting every part of the industry. On the occasion of her 90th birthday party – beautifully hosted by Applegatge Tran Interiors – I remarked that I hoped that as many people would attend my funeral as were at her birthday party. Clarellen replied, ” Don’t worry honey, I will be there!”That is the kind of dear woman our Clarellen was.

Clarellen and  Michael Resto

Clarellen will be in our hearts & memories forever!


Thank You Notes

IMG_0251My mother insisted that each of her children sit down to write thank you notes. If not, she warned us that our gifts would be taken away. We had 24 hours, and this was before we were in first grade! How can we make it easier to write these notes? Always have many note cards on hand – big ones, small ones, elegant ones, quirky ones…. one to match each mood and need.

IMG_0255 In addition, have many sizes and choices of commemorative stamps on hand and several types of pens that you enjoy writing with – including ones with blue ink, red ink, black ink and maybe even metallic ink. Then there is no excuse. After slowing down and taking time out of your busy schedule to acknowledge the act of giving, you also get the unexpected pleasure of re-living the experience you are thanking the person for.

Mothers really do know best!


The Power of Beauty – Rainer Maria Rilke

The brilliant German poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the Sonnets to Orpheus and The Duino Elegies concurrently. In The First Elegy (of ten) Rilke writes, “beauty is the beginning of terror and why we adore it so, is because it serenely disdains to destroy us.” For me, this is a powerful affirmation about the power of beauty and our longing to create and observe it.